General Motors Basic Motors CEO Mary Barra took a massive step forward for the interests of corporate transparency by announcing the acceleration of some other safety actions that GM had in the works anyway. It’d be ideal for her and GM if she does even far more.
Barra’s move to precipitate the recall of an further one.5 million GM autos after a stepped-up assessment won’t do anything to protect the company from the troubles brought on by its glacial tempo in recalling 1.6 million cars from last decade that endure from an unrelated problem in their ignition switches.
Lawyers, bureaucrats, media interest and the grieving families of at least 13 people killed in accidents involving the issue will guarantee that the organization is dealing with the fallout from that series of undesirable selections for years to come, no matter what Barra does to try to appropriate the past.
But in ordering her team to give rapid resolution to other, undisclosed security worries in GM goods — to “bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” as GM place it — Barra finally may possibly have discovered a way to pivot toward the potential in a meaningful way.
By doing much more than just assisting the company deal with an ugly legacy that festered beneath her predecessors, GM’s new CEO can show the fresh method to leadership that several had hoped for from her — a single that also, in looking forward rather than back, may possibly support Barra perceptually separate herself from a problem she did not produce but has to fix.
Nonetheless, Barra need to do even much more. To help GM move previous this sorry episode and put a far more definitive stamp on her leadership, she’s also going to have to engender better self-confidence in the company’s transparency going forward. It is not just meals or restaurant organizations that are currently being pressed to offer more glimpses behind the curtain these days.
That could mean anything like making a “blue-ribbon panel” of outsiders who could come up with recommendations for how GM can avoid this kind of a tarnish once again and generate a stiffer new regime of safety-consciousness. No car brand will ever become so transparent that it surrenders merchandise and engineering strategies, but in giving such a entire body some room to function, GM could comfortably agree to a significant advance in the state of transparency.
This kind of a panel could comprise a number of massive names, contain some members with relevant knowledge, and ensure that all have unquestionable independence and integrity. Generating a blue-ribbon commission also would bring in the collaborative strategy for which Barra became known on her quickly rise up by way of the GM hierarchy.
Despite the new commence under the 2009 bailout and a fresh and groundbreaking CEO choice in Barra, a very good element of running GM will remain unwinding a previous that involves Roger & Me, “secret warranties” and other examples of culturally instigated opaqueness and obfuscation rather than transparency. Barra demands to hold moving strongly towards producing a different future.